A Song for Arbonne

( 9 )

Overview

For the Northern mercenary called Blaise, it began with the death of a king and betrayal in the form of a peace treaty. Wandering in self-imposed exile, he would journey to the Kingdom of Arbonne, where the Court of Love made warriors bow to troubadours, and a well-sung ballad was valued as highly as a skillfully swung sword. But Arbonne was a troubled realm, torn by an ancient feud between its two most powerful dukes and coveted as a prize by the land in which Blaise himself had grown to manhood. And no ...

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Overview

For the Northern mercenary called Blaise, it began with the death of a king and betrayal in the form of a peace treaty. Wandering in self-imposed exile, he would journey to the Kingdom of Arbonne, where the Court of Love made warriors bow to troubadours, and a well-sung ballad was valued as highly as a skillfully swung sword. But Arbonne was a troubled realm, torn by an ancient feud between its two most powerful dukes and coveted as a prize by the land in which Blaise himself had grown to manhood. And no one—except perhaps Arbonne’s goddess—could forsee that one Northern mercenary might become the key to Arbonne’s destiny....

Facing their darkest hour, the people of Arbonne must band together to save their country and themselves from invaders. This dazzling new fantasy from the author of Tigana is a novel of adventure and romance which draws its ambience and inspiration from medieval Provence.

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Editorial Reviews

Palm Beach Post
Rarely has a book come along that fulfills on so many levels...Kay skillfully and lyrically paints a portrait of a land and the human hearts that inhabit it, complete with their failures and epiphanies.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Based on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world. As in Tigana , it is a world with two moons. The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long-dead Aelis, lover of one, wife of the other and once heir to the country's throne. To the north lies militaristic Gorhaut, whose inhabitants worship the militant god Corannos and are ruled by corrupt, womanizing King Ademar. His chief advisor, the high priest of Corannos, is bent on wiping out the worship of a female deity, whose followers live to the south. Into this cauldron of brewing disaster comes the mysterious Gorhaut mercenary Blaise, who takes service with Bertran and averts an attempt on his life. The revelation of Blaise's lineage and a claim for sanctuary by his sister-in-law set the stage for a brutal clash between the two cultures. Intertwined is the tale of a young woman troubadour whose role suggests the sweep of the drama to come. Kay creates a vivid world of love and music, magic and death in a realm that resembles ours but is just different enough to enrich the fantasy genre. 25,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Kay's latest is very much in the vein of his well-received Tigana (1990): an exhilarating epic fantasy based loosely on medieval history. Tigana was an imaginary kingdom analogous to Italy; Arbonne bears a similar resemblance to 12th-century Provence. But Kay is less interested in re-creating history than in playing the changes on the epic themes of love, war, and destiny. So rather than in medieval Europe, we find ourselves in a world with two moons, where a dualistic pagan religion takes the place of Christianity. Much of the time, we see Arbonne through the eyes of Blaise, an expatriate mercenary captain in the employ of Bertran, one of the most powerful lords of Arbonne—a man equally adept at war, music, and the art of seduction. As it turns out, Blaise is also a man with a complex past and a high destiny in his native Gorhaut, Arbonne's traditional enemy. There's a full quota of heroic action here—Kay has a rare ability to rise to the occasion for a set-piece battle. But as the duality of Arbonne's religion indicates in its balance of male and female gods, the women characters play an equally central role—from the Countess who rules the rival warlords of Arbonne, to the blind high-priestess, to the pregnant northern noblewoman who precipitates a war by fleeing south, to a young woman in the process of becoming one of the great troubadours of Arbonne. Meanwhile, music is a major theme throughout here, while Kay spins all the threads into a powerful tale of great events in a richly drawn magical kingdom. Complex and compelling: one of the most impressive fantasies in a long time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451458971
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 270,324
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Guy Gavriel Kay is an internationally bestselling author. He has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of the Aurora Award, and won the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Ysabel. His works have been translated into twenty-five languages.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended

    One of my most favorite books.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    ZL english class

    This book tells the tale of a man named Blaise. Blaise fought for his king and country all his life. But when his king dies and a dishonorable treaty gives away a massive piece of land to foreign hands he decides to leave his home and country. He travels south to the women ruled land of Arbonne. Everything is different in this country. Women are allowed more freedoms and they even worship a goddess instead of a god. Soon it becomes clear that war is coming to Arbonne. War is coming from his home country. Now he has to make a choice. Who will he fight for?
    This book is a true master work. Guy Gavriel Kay creates a world full of adventure. When I picked up this book I just couldn't put it down. It is a great novel for all ages. I highly recommend that you read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    Must Read!!!

    This is one of the best books i've ever read!! i could not put this book down and i recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and romance!!

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